The world’s eyes have been on the first and second rounds of football’s most widely watched competition as hundreds of millions of fans gathered around their televisions for the excitement in recent weeks. As predicted, with the tournament being held mid-season this year rather than after the end of club season for most European leagues, many players have seemed less fatigued, making for fast-paced, high-energy matches. Now, the intensity has gone up a notch as victors emerge from the round of sixteen to advance to the quarterfinals, which will see the remaining eight teams battle it out on the 9th and 10th of December.
Inspiring Greatness from The Pitch
England’s Phil Foden, France’s Raphaël Varane, Spain’s Pedri, and Brazil’s Rodrygo make up a squad of great players who have been using these world games to inspire young fans around the globe. Sponsored by electronics giant TCL, which has committed itself to supporting fans everywhere with their “Inspire Greatness” campaign, these football stars are among this generation’s most promising athletes.
The TCL ambassadors have certainly not disappointed in their mission to inspire greatness during these games. In the first round, young star Foden helped England battle Iran, the United States, and Wales in some electrifying Group B showdowns, leading off with a 6-2 defeat of Iran by England, and a picture-perfect goal by Foden as they claimed victory over Wales 3-0. The young midfielder then made a stellar appearance in the round of 16 against Senegal (3-0), contributing two assists to send England through to face to France in the quarterfinals.
France’s Varane rallied after an injury-hit club season and was back on the pitch for Group D’s matches against Denmark and Tunisia, sitting out the first match against Australia. France was the first team to secure a place in the knockout round of 16 with its wins against Australia and Denmark and a surprising loss in a thrilling last game against Tunisia. Varane then played against Poland in the round of 16 and helped France qualify (3-1) by saving a Polish shot on his goal line.
Group E, arguably the most competitive round one group with multiple defending champions from previous years, saw Spain beating Costa Rica by an astounding 7-0, tying Germany in some electrifying football from Pedri, last year’s Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy winner for rising stars under 21. Pedri and his teammates finished second of their group after losing against Japan in their third game and will face Morocco in the round of 16. Brazil bested Serbia (2-0), Switzerland (1-0), and also lost their final game, against Cameroon (0-1). Two victories were enough for the Brazilians and their young dynamo Rodrygo to advance to the next round, where they will meet South Korea.
Cutting Edge Technology Brings Fans into the Virtual Arena
Savvy fans watching the matches from the comfort of their homes on premium audio-visual theatre systems have certainly appreciated their virtual front row seats these past weeks, thanks to large-screen systems with exceptional detail such as the award-winning TCL XL Collection. These systems feature up to 98-inch screens and are packed with advanced technology to offer exceptional definition, sound, and color. The collection’s responsive motion clarity has been a game-changer for fast moving sports like football. With groundbreaking Mini LED and QLED screens, 4K AiPQ 2.0 processors to enhance contrast, motion, clarity, and colors, and Dolby Atmos sound, viewers feel fully immersed as they watch each ball rocket into the net or ricochet off a crossbar while the crowd cheers or groans. The attractive price point has also made these systems increasingly accessible to home viewers, who appreciate the opportunity to kick back in their high-tech “fan caves” during the tournament with a snack and a beverage of choice in their hands.
TCL has remained “passionate about inspiring our customers through sport,” stated Frédéric Langin, Vice President Sales and Marketing of TCL Europe, and this dedication is reflected in its investment in its products, which are perfectly suited to the needs of sports fans. Between the vibrant color, state-of-the art soundbar audio, and visual fluidity of the XL Collection, home theatre systems like these have become must-haves for dedicated football fans watching the action.
Looking Ahead to Quarterfinal Matches
As eight teams head into the quarter-finals 9 and 10 December, it has already been an exhilarating tournament to date, filled with unexpected surprises and eliminations of highly regarded teams. This is what makes this world competition so exciting every four years; supporters never know exactly who will make it through to the final rounds. The anticipation now ramps up among fans, not only in the stadium, but in living rooms across the globe. One thing is clear: whoever emerges the victor, they’ll be doing it in high definition.